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Questions Answered by Brian Waller
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my spouse sell the house without my consent? Only his name is on the deed, he bought the house after we got married

He bought the house after we got married in Massachusetts. My name is not on the deed.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 9, 2023

If a divorce has been filed, he would be prohibited from selling the property without your agreement or an order of the court based on the automatic restraining order (Rule 411). It would be a good idea to file for divorce ASAP if you haven't yet, you could ask the court to prevent him from... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I file a divorce completely online without having to go to court if my partner is in agreement with the divorce?

We have no children, property, assets or bank accounts together so I was wondering if we could file the paperwork electronically or by mail and skip the in person court process since we don’t have anything to split up between each other, thank you

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 9, 2023

You can e-file all the required documents with the court, then the court will typically schedule you for a Zoom hearing. The e-filing system isn't entirely intuitive, but if you are somewhat tech-savvy you will be able to figure it out. You can also mail the documents to the courthouse instead... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Does one have to disclose an entry in the Domestic Violence Record Keeping Sys when applying for a firearms permit?

More than 15 years ago, my oldest daughter lied to Judge Ross in Orange, MA, District Court and obtained a 209A order against me. It was never violated. Judge Ross vacated the order upon my motion after learning that my daughter had lied. I do not have a probation record. I understand that I do... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Nov 6, 2023

You could request a CORI or CARI report before applying for an FID card so you know what is there. In all likelihood, unless the 209A restraining order was vacated by the judge and the judge ordered the records removed, it would likely appear on your report. I would suggest speaking with an... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Child is 22 - can support end? Massachusetts

I have been paying child support for 12 years. My child just turned 22 and just graduated with his SECOND associates degree, works 30 hours a week and is planning on working 40 per week in the near future. His mother forced him into the second degree program so child support wouldn't end... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jun 7, 2023

Judges have discretion in this situation, but I think it makes sense to go forward with your modification. Based on his employment and age alone, it seems like child support should end. Obviously, this is said with very limited information, but I think it would be hard for your ex-wife to argue... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Federal Crimes, Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a judge order a hair follicle test on hearsay? No drug history or evidence. Just hear say from other parent?

My child's father believes that I am using drugs. The reason is because he heard a recording of my current partner and i arguing. That he obtained from a 3rd party, illegally. Also, my partner didn't know he was being recorded. In the audio it uses a slang word for a drug, but that word... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 30, 2023

The judge can basically order anything that they deem to be in the best interests of the child. If there is a reason for them to be concerned about drug use, they can order a drug test. It doesn't really matter how they came to making that order, unfortunately. You could choose to appeal it,... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Divorce and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: In Massachusetts is there an agreement that can be filed with the courts for the termination of a domestic relationship?

My domestic partner is looking to end the relationship. We currently own a house together and share bank accounts for the past 3 years. In speaking with the mortgage company I would need a court document stating we are separating and agreeing that I would keep the house for her to be released from... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 24, 2023

You could file a Petition to Partition in the Probate and Family Court. I have never seen one filed jointly, but I don't see why you couldn't do that, or you could file it as contested then file an agreement for judgment. I believe that could also be filed in Land Court, I am pretty sure... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Child support in MA with out of state father.

I recently had a baby while living in MA. I filed for child support giving as much information about the father as possible. It has been a week and the application still says "submitted".

The father moved out of state and won't supply me his new address so I could only... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 4, 2023

It could take anywhere from several weeks to several months. You could call DOR-CSE and ask them about the status if you haven't heard anything in a few more days.

DOR will work with the child support agency in his state to collect the payments once the MA court issues an order for...
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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I request a parental fitness eval for a non-custodial, wheelchair bound parent that has unsupervised visitation?

I am an unmarried single mother that has a temporary order for sole legal and physical custody of my 1 year child in MA. Child’s father lives out of state in Maryland and judge has ordered a temporary, unsupervised visitation schedule for father to come to MA every other weekend for 6 hours.... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 4, 2023

From a practical standpoint, even though he was granted visits, how often is he going to be able to travel from Maryland to Massachusetts for a 6-hour visit? You may want to wait and see how things go. Judges usually give parents the opportunity to show they can parent successfully, but if it... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Is circumventing a court order knowing you are doing it the same as violating the order

My ex am I have an order stating neither one of us can cancel a Drs appointment made by the other, she brought him in to the Drs and got the second vaccine shot which was an appointment I made for another date, the office then canceled the appointment I made as it was obviously no longer needed, is... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Feb 18, 2023

It is hard to say without reviewing the specific order, but a judge would probably look at your ex's intent, but also if that cancellation harmed you or the child in any way. If your ex took the child to a different scheduled appointment and the doctor offered to give your son the second... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: My adult child is making 30k a year. I’m my divorce decree full time employment constitutes emancipation. Help

None of my support goes to kid. Wife states kid pays for stuff because she works. Then why am I still paying ???

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 30, 2023

You can file a Complaint for Modification and ask that your child support be terminated by the court. If you believe it should be terminated, you should file as soon as possible because a judge can only order it to be adjusted retroactively as far back as there is a pending Complaint for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Why is a divorce case "active" after 10 years?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 6, 2022

Most likely it is just an error by the registry unless there has been a recent filing. You could contact the registry for the county where the divorce occurred and ask them to close it, but probably not worth the effort as there is no consequence to the "active" designation if there is no... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If my child now goes to boarding school, does that effect my weekly payment?

My daughter is going to a boarding school this year. My ex wife and I have split the cost for this. I have a son who lives with my ex wife. Is my weekly payment effected by my daughter now not living with my ex wife?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 5, 2022

Unfortunately for you, probably not. If your daughter returns to your ex-wife's home for school breaks, that would still likely be considered her primary residence. You could always agree with your ex-wife to reduce the child support payment based on your daughter going to boarding school, but... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: How long does a judge have to sign and file a judgement after a child support hearing in Massachusetts?

My court hearing for child support was 27 days ago yet I still haven’t received the judgement in the mail, neither have the courts or DOR.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Nov 22, 2022

It depends on the type of hearing. If it was a divorce trial where child support was just one of many issues, it would take a few (or more) months. If it was a hearing where DOR was seeking support on the other parent's behalf, it should be much quicker. It also depends on the county you are... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: If I flee d.v. from my husband and leave the home with our son can he call the police on me for kidnapping?

I do have photos of marks and bruises from assaults

over the last few months emailed secretly to a 2nd account but it's escalating and I'm scared for our safety but he's threatening me with police and has threatened my life if I leave with our sob

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 9, 2024

Your husband could definitely call the police, the question is what the police would do. I would suggest applying for an abuse prevention order, which can be done at the District Court or Probate and Family Court, or you can go to a police station to file a report there and they will assist you by... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I divorce my spouse that lives in another country?

My spouse and I have fallen out of love and we want a divorce.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 4, 2023

If your spouse agrees, you can file together and the court will (usually) schedule a Zoom hearing to enter the judgment of divorce. It can be easy if you file jointly (as a 1A divorce).

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I find out exactly what terms and powers of guardianship when guardian will not disclose?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 2, 2023

I am not a guardianship expert, but you can obtain a copy of the order appointing the guardian from the register's office in the county where the case was filed. That order/decree will detail the powers granted to the guardian.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Spousal conflict on Adoption: Is Divorce the only solution?

We have been married for 15 years without kids. We tried IVF several times, but it did not work. Now my wife wants to go for adoption, but I am not interested. She is even willing to do it as a single mother. And I am opposed to it primarily because, we don’t know how things will turn out after... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Oct 11, 2022

I am actually not sure whether your wife could adopt a child solely while you are married, but another lawyer with expertise in adoption may be able to answer that.

Regarding an agreement to waive child support, however, that is definitely not possible. The courts view child support as...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: How is the actual duration of marriage duration calculated?

How is the actual duration of marriage duration calculated?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Sep 21, 2022

Unfortunately, it depends. For purposes of alimony, the duration of marriage is calculated as the date of marriage through the date of service of the Complaint for Divorce. So, if your ex-spouse filed on March 19, 2021, it would be whatever date after that you were actually served with the divorce... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Modification of child custody and child support

Can I modify child custody and support if I went from 5 overnights to 7 overnights plus taking them till 7 at night 4 other nights? And have my kids all day on Sunday while my ex is at work. Yea he only days. Don’t see them are tuesdays and every other Saturday, other then that they are with m... View More

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 17, 2022

It sounds like you have a good argument for modification. If you think your ex will retaliate, just be sure you really want to kick the hornet's nest. If your kids are doing well with the current arrangement, it may be worth it to suck it up even though you feel she is taking advantage of you.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I want to file for child support. Do I need a lawyer for that??

Husband left to PR and hasn't given any support to our son, since he left in 2020.

We are living w/some family and can use the help. How long does it take to file for child support? Thank you

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on May 7, 2022

You would either need to file for divorce or file a Complaint for Separate Support if you do not want to file for divorce.

With either of those, you can file a motion for temporary orders, which would include child support and anything else you would want a judge to address on a temporary...
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